Bwog’s resident Texan and Editor in Chief Jenny Zhu thinks that she might not be the most qualified person to give time management tips, but given her involvement in this crazy rodeo, she also thinks she just might be qualified enough. Here are some of her time management tips:

  • Break down big projects and tasks into manageable deadlines. One of the most daunting aspects of tackling an abstract to-do such as studying for a final or completing a 20-page paper is that irrational feeling of being overwhelmed or not even knowing how to start. What has always helped me is breaking up those big projects into bite-size, manageable tasks. Then, set deadlines for each of the tasks (it is encouraged to write it down, but a lot of the times you can also just keep a mental note of them). So for example, for a Lit Hum final six days away with 12 books to review for, I would set a deadline to finish review two books each day. If I missed that two-book-a-day mark, I would note in my mind that I was behind schedule, and it would motivate me more the next day to catch up.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Probably the most overused piece of advice, but also 110% the most useful one. The first step in tackling your enemy is actually knowing your enemy. Take the initiative to ask ahead and seek out your finals’ and papers’ due dates. Write these dates down on some kind of planner, whether paper or online. After breaking down those deadlines’ corresponding projects into tasks, write your list of to-dos. A ton of my friends really like their online calendars, but personally, I live and die by my paper planner – I think the act of writing down tasks, events, and meetings help solidify them into your mind.
  • Start with short/easy tasks to get the ball rolling. If you’re having trouble getting started on being in a ~productive mindset~, look at your planner and start completing some short/easy to-dos. It gives you that little bit of satisfaction every time you check off one task, and helps keep your momentum and motivation going forward.
  • Pomodoro it up, or at least Pomodoro-adjacent it up. Pomodoro is that studying technique in which you study in 25-minute-intervals, broken up with 5-minute breaks; you can use the Mac desktop app Be Focused, or comparable Chrome extensions/apps/the like, to follow it. Even if you don’t want to do Pomodoro, though, it’s still a useful general guideline to follow. To be most productive, you should engage in bouts of studying for at least 20 minutes each – but also definitely remember to take breaks, because concentrating intensely on one task for hours on end is just a fruitless mission and one that can have really serious physical detriments too!
  • PLEASE make sure to take care of your physical health. Seriously about to bold, highlight, underline, fully buy a roadside billboard to display this message! Drink water, eat meals, SHOWER, and at least try to get your 7-8 hours of sleep. Make sure to take care of your physical health during this time, because no matter how much you try to fool yourself when you’re downing that 15th Red Bull instead of eating a meal in god-knows-where-at-what-hour, keep in mind that your physical self can and will bleed into your mental/emotional/studying-oriented self. Being a student is taxing and at times demands unhealthy behaviors, but remember to keep a balance because you are a human. being. (And that, before you ever were a student!)

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